Harvesting the Creative Commons: Comparing netlabels and indie labels

From AcaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Citation: Cornelia Zacharias (2010/09) Harvesting the Creative Commons: Comparing netlabels and indie labels. Free Culture Research Conference (RSS)
Internet Archive Scholar (search for fulltext): Harvesting the Creative Commons: Comparing netlabels and indie labels
Download: http://wikis.fu-berlin.de/download/attachments/59080767/Zacharias-Paper.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1285066042000
Tagged: Sociology (RSS) Creative Commons (RSS), netlabels (RSS), music industry (RSS), collecting societies (RSS), Germany (RSS), lock-in (RSS), lock-out (RSS), path dependency (RSS), GEMA (RSS)


Author interviewed indie and netlabel (music) owners in Germany and concludes that role of each is result of path dependency, specifically lock-in and lock-out.

Indie labels (as with majors) depend on revenue collection from German monopoly collecting society GEMA; alternative licensing such as Creative Commons (CC) or any other imaginable arrangement off the GEMA path are seen as non-relevant by indies. At the same time netlabels, which do not attempt to make money and rely on CC licenses for legal gratis distribution, are locked out of direct involvement in or competition with GEMA through the relatively high costs of GEMA paperwork, refusal of GEMA to accept CC licensed music, and low potential GEMA revenues for niche works.

Thus author answers question "[d]oes the traditional music market with its rules and policies actually lock-out the Netlabels?" affirmatively; indies and netlabels exist in relatively separate universes insofar as music business is concerned.

Theoretical and Practical Relevance

Author claims few previous authors have explored lock-out as an aspect of path dependency; this may be an important area of future research.

If existing music business is locked into path formed decades ago and new paths are locked out, this could indicate large potential social welfare gain from breaking current path, permitting realization of paths aligned with current environment.

Data consists only of interviews with indie and netlabels in Germany. Other (along multiple dimensions) sources of data are necessary to further this research path.